I have had a lot going on, preparing for shows and traveling but have still managed to get a good amount done on this piece. I have been trying keep posting daily shots on my Tumblr page whenever work on it so, go have a look at how it has progressed. Here it is as it stands now after about 12 days of work.
Just a quick post to show an update on this portrait before the weekend.
Originally I was planning on waiting until this painting was completely finished to post and update but – plans change. Recently I had the opportunity to talk to CNN about working with my friends at TurningArt. Since it looks like a fair amount of people are tracking me down after seeing the clip, I thought that I should post an update on the progress of the piece I was working on when the segment was filmed.
Check out the video on CNN:
And then, see the painting in its current state.
I still have some work to do on this piece but, I am pretty happy with how it is progressing. Check back soon to see the final piece as well as an update on this collaborative portrait.
I jumped into this new painting fairly quickly without any real plan as to where I wanted to take it. The model came by and we ended up with this image that I loved so I just went for it. Unfortunately, I now find myself halfway through the piece with a lot of questions to answer – or maybe the painting will just take me where it wants to be? Not sure about the yellow, not sure about the way the paint is hitting the canvas but, I still love the overall composition. I guess that is always part of creating, getting lost, choosing a direction and just going for it. I feel like this piece just needs more… maybe someone will come by Open Studios this Sunday and give me some good advice.
I have been in the studio this week working on another collaborative piece. In many of my paintings I have experimented with text elements in different ways but this time, I decided to approach it from a different direction. Generally, I will search around for some segment of text (often times taken from the writings of the talented models) to hijack for the paintings. Words will get swapped, sentences will be moved around, meanings will be distorted and played with and a sort of word collage will happen that will then be layered over the painted image.
This time I handed control of the text over to someone else. It was just dumb luck really, I was sitting in the studio, struggling over the phrase to use in this painting and got a call from a friend of mine – he said, “Hey we have a lot of friends that are working on some amazing projects… why don’t we collaborate more?” Perfect timing. I sent Mitchel Heard (who happens to be, among other things, a songwriter and poet) the image for this portrait that night and asked him to come up with a phrase or two. I was pretty interested in how this little experiment would work out, two (possibly conflicting) interpretations of the same image coming together into one piece. Whether I liked what he came up with or not, it was going to be featured prominently in this painting – fortunately he nailed it.
I won’t reveal the text he came up with yet but, here is a shot of the painting in progress after the first few days or work:
Working on paintings is always so much like dating. The start of a new piece is always filled with excitement, I end up staying up late into the night painting and when I am forced to leave its side, I am still daydreaming of the endless potential of my new fling. Unfortunately not all relationships are like the movies, some thing are just not meant to last and sooner or later every minute is pure torture. This latest painting started out easy but, putting the finishing touches on it seems to be dragging out endlessly. While I am happy with how it has come out, I can hardly stand the idea of working on it another minute. I think that means it is time to put it aside (for now) and start something new.
While I was trying to finish this piece, and dreaming of the next painting I received some great news. I walked out to my mailbox expecting the normal assortment of junk and was instead greeted by a letter from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation notifying me that I have been awarded a grant to help fund my painting. Needless to say my idea for the next painting went from, “make some small paintings to sell at open studios” to, “make the biggest best painting possible.” So I immediately stretched myself a monster canvas and got to work. The new piece is all laid out and the under painting is nearly finished so, check back soon too see what the next piece will be.
I have the image all ready to burn to the screens for my next mixed media piece. It took quite a bit of time to get it just right so, I may make two of each color this time.
These screen print/paintings will share similar imagery as my next painting, I am hoping that offering some smaller, more inexpensive options will help fund even larger, better paintings. So my plan is to offer small prints or mixed media pieces that will also serve as studies for a larger painting. With that said, here is a peak at what I have started painting, based on this idea and some studio time with these models.
Next month I am participating in a show over at Lot F Gallery along with two of my favorite Lot F artists, Josh Falk and Sean Flood. I will be showing some of my large paintings along with the next set of mixed media pieces. As always, the art will be good, the people will be interesting and the beer will be free so, be sure to come by the opening.
New works from three Boston artists. Each with strong and distinct styles. A number of large substantial works will be available, as well as a range of other pieces.
Refreshments will be provided
For more information and pre-sale appointments email info@lotFgallery.com
I have done a bunch of work on this piece since the last time I posted it. Still searching for a fitting title for this piece and I will need to refine the dark areas a bit more before it starts to look really good but, it is shaping up to be one of my best pieces yet (do I always say that?).
Here is a closer look at all the colors and details that are making up the skin tones and textures, you can see the areas that are more finished, and the areas that still need to be mellowed out with the final skin tones:
Really tried to pack as much as possible into the flesh (as usual) without going overboard. With this one nearing completion, I have set it aside temporarily to start a new diptych which will include a male face (finally). I had the models over to the studio for the first time a couple of weeks ago and the two panels are off too a good start. Should have the first preview of the progress on that piece posted later this week. I also have another screen print/oil paint, mixed media piece based on the same imagery in the works that should be ready in February. So, if you liked the last batch, start saving your pennies now because it will be another limited run, this time of 4 different colors/editions (CMYK).
I just finished three new small-ish mixed media pieces. I started out by sketching out a simple line drawing of the portrait, then scanned it in and used the sketch to create a halftone pattern for screen printing. Then, printed the image on primed panels and went back into the image using my normal methods of painting. Mixing the mechanical looking screen prints with some pixelated looking painting seemed like a good combination and, overall I am pretty happy with the results. I am thinking about pushing this technique further by using more layers in the screen print but I need to mull the ideas over a little more before I make the leap. In any case, would love to get some feedback on these pieces and, if you like them, head on over to Lot F where all three (one printed in red, one printed in blue, and one printed in black) are available for sale this month.
By the way, excuse the junky cell phone photo, sent the pieces out without getting a decent image… oops.